'Free-from' foods in the UK

There is a rapidly growing market for ‘free-from’ foods and drinks in the UK, creating significant opportunity for international companies.

The UK's growing freefrom market

Around one-third of British consumers are buying and eating free-from food, of whom:

    • 22% buy gluten-free products,
    • 19% buy dairy-free products
    • 16% buy wheat-free and lactose-free products

Gluten-free baked goods make up the majority of the free-from category – the market for these products grew nearly 30% between 2013 and 2015, to 210 million GBP. In 2015, 12% of new food products launched in the UK claimed to be gluten-free.

Based on up and coming trends and the increasing awareness of freefrom, the market is likely to grow 43% by 2020 to GBP 673 million, which offers opportunities for new players to enter the market.

Frozen free-from food products are now worth approximately 15 million GBP with frozen prepared ready meals contributing to just over 9 million GBP of the market value.

Government support free-from food manufacturing in the UK

The government has up to 50 billion GBP available to support finance and insurance for supplies from within the UK to buyers outside the UK. This support takes the form of guarantees, insurance and loans issued by its export credit agency, UK Export Finance.